I just returned from Amsterdam, where I helped judge the Green Business Challenge. The competition, funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery (a private lottery system that donates 50% of its proceeds to charity), selects the best green entrepreneurs to compete for a 500,000 Euro prize. This year, it was chaired by Richard Branson. Prizes like this can be an effective model for attracting more entrepreneurs to categories neglected by more traditional sources of capital.
The finalists included paper infused with organic herbs that keeps fruits and vegetables fresh 2-4 times longer, a brick grown from sand and active biologics without firing, and a wind energy system that uses the same principle as kitesurfing.
If you’re interested in investing or supporting these entrepreneurs, read more here.